City staff Monday will ask Evanston aldermen to consider trying to shift more of the cost of providing school crossing guards onto local schools.

A memo to aldermen from Interim City Manager Erika Storlie says the city now spends about $620,000 for crossing guard services and only is reimbursed $57,000.

Most of the reimbursement comes from Evanston Township High School, which is served by two crossing guards and a parking enforcement officer.

But Chiaravalle Montessori School also covers the cost of the one crossing guard assigned there.

The cost of crossing guards for Evanston School District 65 totals $501,377, Storlie says, and the city also spends a total of more than $60,000 a year to provide crossing guards for two Catholic schools, Pope John XXIII and St. Athanasius.

At one time state law required cities to provide crossing guard services for their public and private schools, but Storlie says that no longer is the case.

She says several municipalities have reached agreements in recent years with schools to either share the cost of crossing guard services or have the schools pick up the full cost. Those towns, she says, include Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Eureka, Riverside, Urbana and Wheeling.

Storlie also says that by contracting with a third-party service for crossing guards, as the city has done with Andy Frain, and sharing costs with the schools, the city would also remove itself from facing sole liability for any legal claims that arose from the crossing guard program.

Related stories

Crossing guard switch goes off without a hitch (1/25/19)

City to privatize crossing guards (11/19/18)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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